‘Good For Chess’: Praggnanandhaa As He Gets A Hero’s Welcome In Chennai

Even after suffering a loss in the final of the 2023 Chess World Cup against world no 1 Magnus Carlsen on Thursday, Indian chess prodigy Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa scripted history. He made 32-year-old Carlsen sweat for victory. He became only the second Indian after Viswanathan Anand to enter the Chess World Cup final.

Praggnanandhaa defeated high-profile opponents – world no 2 Hikaru Nakamura and no 3 Fabiano Caruana to face Carlsen. On the back of the silver medal win, he has sealed a spot at the prestigious FIDE Candidates tournament. Praggnanandhaa reached his hometown Chennai on Wednesday. After his arrival, he received a grand welcome from his fans as people were standing in huge numbers, cheering for the 18-year-old player.

Praggnanandhaa after reaching Chennai said, “I am very happy to see so many people coming here and it is good for Chess.”

Earlier, renowned businessman Anand Mahindra also took to X (formerly Twitter) and posted a word of appreciation for the chess prodigy. “You aren’t the ‘runner-up’ @rpragchess. This is simply your ‘run-up’ to Gold and to greatness. Many battles require you to learn & live to fight another day. You’ve learned & you will fight again; and we will all be there againâ€æcheering you on loudly,” Mahindra wrote.

Back when he was 16, he defeated the then-world champion Magnus Carlsen in a rapid game at the Airthings Masters Rapid Chess Tournament on 22 February 2022 and became the youngest player to defeat the Norwegian. In 2016, Praggnanandhaa became the youngest (10 years, 10 months, and 19 days) international master in history. 18-year-old Praggnanandhaa, born on August 10, 2005, in India’s Chennai, is now the third youngest chess player ever to qualify for the Candidates tournament.

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ABP News Bureau

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